7 WAYS TO FLY IN FREEDOM
There are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom. The debate and debacle we see around us continues, yet like the last post, before we are concerned for our rights and freedoms in this country, we must first ask…am I free?
In the spiritual form, the first place to look for freedom is the heart. A bound heart moves towards motives other than the Father’s heart. A bound heart will not reflect the heart of God. A bound heart will not know the way to go – it will not know the will of the heart of the Father. Perhaps this is why when we pledge allegiance to the flag, it is over our heart that our hand lays. Our hearts hold what we cherish and value, for from it comes ‘you’ – your ‘true heart’ and for this, your heart is valuable.
Yet mostly, your heart is valuable because within your heart you hold your freedom. The freedom of your heart determines the freedom you will exercise in your fight for independence from the tyranny of oppression in your own personal declaration of independence to live out “the pursuit of happiness.”
The wise words of Proverbs tells: “Above all else, watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” Another translation states: "...for everything you do flows from it." Proverbs 4:23 simply says that our from our hearts comes the outflow of what we have allowed in. Unfortunately, often it is not who we are to be. King David knew this well. David was an imperfect person. In Psalms he lamented his losses and pleaded for victory over his enemies. Yet looking closely, David has an underlying request of the Lord. Conquest over enemies seeking to take his reputation, calling, and life is one thing, but David sees the need to plead for victory over his own- bound heart. He was focused foremost on his relationship with the one who mattered most, his Lord. It makes me wonder if perhaps when we make the Lord the center of our heart, that we then become, "the apple of His eye" like David in Psalm 17:8.
Freedom to Fly
Why is freedom equated with flying? Because there is nothing like the feeling that spiritual freedom brings. Like gravity, the reality of your fears and failures, pulls you to this celestial ball, tying you to the harsh realities of this fallen world. But when freedom is found, it loosens the chords that bind, making you free. It lifts the weights and burdens of this realm and world to make you light. Have you ever dreamt that you could fly? Why can’t that be an actual reality- for you to be free to fly above the atmosphere of fear? The heavenly realms are waiting for you to fly.
Many do not understand this freedom; flying above is certainly not about being “higher and holier than thou” or "SELF-righteous". It is about being and feeling right with God; and being rightly aligned with God, is simply...'right'-eousness. Righteousness is how free people find a right witness, and having a right witness is most effective. But more than just that, it fulfills your declaration of freedom and independence to not only exercise the right to the pursuit of happiness, but find it.
Yet, to go to greater heights, we must first decide to spread our wings to prepare to take off the cursed ground of this fallen world, and seek the higher realms of perspective of the Father’s heart for us. Maybe that’s why it is called a “runway;” you have to go hard and fast to get lift.
I was captive no less; fear of abandonment plagued me in the first years of marriage as my past cast a shadow on my future. The fear, like clouds, completely covered my perspective. It wasn't until I was taught not the secrets of the rule of this world, but the higher view of the Lord's will and way, that I was set free by Him. So from my lessons learned, I offer to share with you: "7 Ways To Fly In Freedom".
Do you fly in freedom? Do you seek a higher perspective?
You can be “clear for take-off”…
7 Signs You Are Free to Fly:
1) FREEDOM FROM SIN
Freedom from sin is the only way to live free in the Spirit. John 8:36 pronounces, "If the Son sets you free, you are free indeed." What a true win/win for us! The truth that sets us free: we are unencumbered from the things that bind us because Christ was bound in promise to the cross. that generational cords and curses may be broken (Exodus 20:5, 6). Because of this we can say that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.
John 8:32-36 And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." They answered Him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that you say, 'You will become free'?" Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed".
Finally free from condemnation, we can spread our wings to receive all that He has for us to know, grow, and yes, GO! - Go on to live free in the Spirit. Salvation is our tarmac and is the only way- our only starting point, to truly take off in God towards your calling.
2) FREEDOM TO FORGIVE
Forgiveness brings a paradigm shift in the heavenlies and to my destiny, so it is crucial to my freedom.
Nelson Mandela said of a pivotal moment in his personal history, as well as for millions in South Africa: “As I walked out the door of that prison cell toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” After such a para-less imprisonment, he knew through his sufferings, that unforgiveness puts up its own walls and prisons. Its bars are indifference and the mold upon its walls is bitterness. Who would want to pay rent there!? But again, from Part 1 of the teaching blog on Freedom, mentioned is the message of Isaiah 61, what I call “the mission statement of Jesus”. There Isaiah 61:1 says, “HE came to set free the prisoners.” I am so thankful that Jesus mission was to be an abolitionist!
And in the fact that freedom is a journey, often, by God’s mercy, He must first grow us to be ready to forgive. Why? I believe this is because He wants us to “forgive well.” As spoken in the post on Prayer Power, forgiveness releases the greatest power in and over our lives. And this power brings something greater than the mere pursuit of happiness; it brings not only love, but…joy. Joy is gladness in our heart and soul that remains undimmed by the trials, tests, and tribulations we face in our world. Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. So, free people are free to love, free to forgive, and free to move up. And that is what I call ‘lift’! It’s time to prepare for departure.
3) FREEDOM TO LOVE AND BE LOVED
For many, being free to love can take years. Having just learned the story of P. L. Travers, the author of ‘Mary Poppins’, her personal life story was wrapped, then bound, by the harsh realities of life. She was smothered by years of emotional pain and self-protection. She was a picture of perfection: prim and proper in poise, yet quite a prude when it came to allowing herself love. The story attests that the prison walls of unforgiveness can also serve as walls of self-protection. Bound people are powerless people. If they can’t control, they cannot love for fear of losing control. So despite being surrounded by fairy-tale, she writing every line of her personal story to come to her own arranged happy ending, she lived instead- a nightmare.
The plot twist did not come until she was faced by one who endured the same; but received inner-healing from his past and faced his fears. This person was Walt Disney. He confronted and encouraged her to face her own prison walls. This meant that she had to forgive herself; and then others. It was only after forgiveness was received and given that she could fly; just like Mary Poppins tapping her feet to a tune written just for her, by Disney. Now it would become her anthem: the famous song, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite.”
4) FREEDOM FROM THE FEAR OF MAN
Freedom is not welcome in divisive and dysfunctional environments. Most who have struggled with fear of man have had negative people or experiences try to capture and control them. There are many paths that lead to unpleasant places, but it is God’s heart that as His sheep, we would have safe pasture (Psalm 37:3).
Jesus called us sheep because we can easily stray. We can be easily manipulated by man’s words and expectations and promises of greener pastures. Seeking the affirmation from the crowd, we can unknowingly find ourselves controlled by “group think” -"Baa!". Today in our culture we see that in the name of ‘tolerance’ alone, many feel pressure to conform within mandated lines like fences. However, when we fear man for approval and place, more than we reverentially fear God’s opinion of us, we miss the sweet calling of our great Shepherd, missing freedom in Him altogether. But to be contorted and corralled was not God’s intention when He created safe and healthy boundaries of order, accountability, and discipline for us. This is why we need a Shepherd.
So how do we soar free from the fear of man? How do we rise from the control and expectations that don’t come from the Lord? Proverbs 29:25 makes it clear, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” Trusting the Lord is first and foremost the verse teaches, but how do you trust Him? TRUST HIS LOVE FOR YOU. The love you need first is from the Lord. His love for you is wholly and unconditionally given. Know Him. Experience His love for you. He will never leave or forsake you. It is against His divine nature to leave you. Deuteronomy 31:6 is my favorite verse on this, that like my story shared, I needed to experience first hand."Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you."
So to trust the Lord is to trust His love.
We are seeing an epidemic of anxiety. Why? I believe the three most basic needs of people are not being met: safety, security and guidance. These are the very footings of what our identity is to be built on and these foundations are being shaken by the paradigm shifts in our culture. This is why knowing who and TO whom you belong makes one solid.
The truth is (regardless of who you are) at any given time, 20% of all who meet you will not like you upon your first meeting. So I say, focus on the 80% for 100% happiness. Sure, every sheep pen has a few goats. Every flock may have a few black sheep that insist on butting heads with you. –I know! And we can’t forget the wolves. Yet, with the Good Shepherd, if you stay close, trust in Him, and abide by his staff, you will receive safety, security and guidance that you were created to rely on.
This alone will allow you to have…
5) FREEDOM TO BE WHO YOU ARE
No longer grounded, free people are able to take-off for true ‘Lift”.- To rise up to who they were meant to be as designed by God. Before the very foundations of the world, He formed the “WHO OF YOU” – the drop and deposit of the grace and gifting He preplanned for you. And the greatest way to show the world you are not bound to it, is to be who you really are and were meant to be. Exchanging your ‘do’ - your roles, to instead value first your ‘who’- who you truly are. This is how we begin to know and find our value. Because, as I say: “Our WHO is to lead our ‘do', not our DO to make our ‘who’”. I believe that the single most common denominator for one losing their own battle, is that we do not know our identity in Christ. If we did, the world would be a far better place. WOW believes this so strongly that we offer True ID events (And Speakers) to spread the message of finding your true identity in Christ: "That head-knowledge may be heart-knowing, that all would know their True ID" (TrueIDevents.org).
6) FREE TO BE LED
Accountability matters. We all need a place and space to become who we were meant to be.
David said to his Shepard – the Lord: “Your boundaries fall for me in pleasant places” Psalm 16:6. I believe that healthy boundaries are lines of care and accountability that create pleasant borders for us to move within; to graze on the greener pasture of the Lord’s intention. Its lines as fences, are safe and secure. Within this pasture the sheep’s most basic needs are met: safety, security, and guidance. Like lambs, we too have need of the same...
Safety: to be wrong, to be immature and growing, to have a different opinion, to discover.
Security: to speak, to have voice, to experiment new things with glorious failure, to dream and create, to contribute.
Guidance: to receive counsel and guidance, inspiration and encouragement, as well as the pleasant boundaries of accountability and correction.
Accountability and support for these needs takes no less, a team. And as with our metaphor, no plane can fly without a quality ground crew. It makes me ask myself regularly, who fills your tank? Who are you accountable to for regular maintenance checks? -What parts need replacing? Who has authority to give you clear instructions for a safe take-off? Who is your co-pilot? Surround yourself with trusted workers and you will not only be ready, but be fully prepared for take-off.
7) FREEDOM TO LIVE IN THE SPIRIT
Spirit-freed people become Spirit-led people. Freedom to live. -Live in, by, and through the Holy Spirit. "Now the wild at heart will not be kept in cages." -A phrase I love to say. Without spiritual freedom, we cannot love and truly live in the Spirit. And by the Lord's design, only the Holy Spirit can ignite your heart in purpose and strength.
As first said, there are many kinds of slavery and many kinds of freedom, however freedom in Christ is all that lasts. We have nothing left to lose but our fear, because the opposite of fear is faith and the product of faith is courage. We can exchange fear for courage through freedom found: courage to fight for what matters, courage to forgive, courage to let go, and courage to love.
Be courageous and repeat after me, “I AM FREE!”
And don't forget - Free people are like sparklers, they love to shine bringing color and light in the darkness - only they never fizzle out. So celebrate your freedom! Light a sparkler and pass one along.
You are free to fly.
To Fly In Freedom...WOW.
© 2016, WOW Ministries International, Casey Schutrop
“We are not ‘wow’; instead, we are in AWE of the Mighty God who ‘wows’ us.”
Would you like to pray a prayer of freedom? Click below if you would like to be emailed a Prayer of Freedom to use as your own personal Declaration of Independence. Independence from sin, from bitterness and unforgiveness, from the fear of man...to see salvation, to love and be loved, to live in the Spirit, to be who you are.
Freedom comes at a price sometimes. What have you had to give up to see spiritual freedom in your own life? What holds you down from gaining altitude, or what did it bring you?